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Better Employee Engagement Builds a Better Organization

Your Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) should be some of your most powerful employee engagement tools you have. Everyone should look forward to yours. Do your teams and fellow leadership team members look forward to your ERGs? If not, we can help.

Maintaining a strong culture of employee engagement and employee loyalty requires a lot more effort and resources than ever before. There is study after study attributing employee turnover to reasons across categories such as culture-fit, employee engagement, transparency, values, equitability, leadership, and more (articles and studies below). Organizations with “I-don’t-want-to-miss” ERGs, can and do affect positive change in all of these categories.

Another key attribute to ERGS, is that they “Make it safe for people to share their stories” (Harvard Business Review). This safety goes to the heart of psychological safety, made famous by Dr. Amy Edmondson. Dr. Edmondson states:

If you change the nature and quality of the conversations in your team, your outcomes will improve exponentially. Psychological safety is the core component to unlock this.

And the HBR article states further:

Among the most powerful tools that an ERG has is the ability to create a forum for storytelling. In our work with companies, we’ve found that storytelling reduces isolation, creates community, and reduces the stigma of mental health.

According to SHRM, “About 90% of Fortune 500 companies support ERGs in the workplace… Organizations of all sizes can benefit from working with ERGs.”


The Chief Storyteller® team helps you with the planning and execution of your ERGs with communication-related training, consulting services, and coaching. Example areas include:

  1. Develop theme/key message and call-to-action for your ERGs
  2. Help set agenda
  3. Collaborate on selecting speakers
  4. Work with speakers on their engagement – content, message, stories, visuals
  5. Practice with speakers on their delivery (voice and body)
  6. Master Questions & Answers (Q&A)
  7. Run-of-Show for ERGs meeting
  8. Speaker logistics for day-of, on-site speaker coordination
  9. Collaborate with your ERG audio-visual team
  10. After:  Provide specific recommendations to speakers on improving future talks


  1. Improve employee engagement
  2. Support your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) activities
  3. Give employees a voice for positive change
  4. Improve psychological safety
  5. Foster a more inclusive workplace
  6. Strengthens appreciation of diverse employees and diverse teams
  7. Reinforce your focus on employee growth
  8. Celebrate success, which builds camaraderie
  9. Promote transparency
  10. Increase employee retention

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, people will never forget how you made them feel.

– Maya Angelou, On Oprah Winfrey Show, April 2004


From Diversity, Inc.:  ERGs, originally called workplace affinity groups, began in the 1960s in response to racial tensions in the United States. In 1964, along with the company’s black employees, Joseph Wilson, the former CEO of Xerox, came up with the idea for ERGs in response to the race riots that occurred in Rochester, New York where Xerox was headquartered.

At the time, Xerox had a progressive hiring program. And once hired, black employees still faced discrimination. In 1970, Wilson and Xerox’s black employees launched the National Black Employees Caucus to create a space for black employees to discuss their experiences and advocate for change within their company. This caucus was the United States’ first official ERG.


  1. Exploring the History and Evolution of Employee Resource Groups, Diversity, Inc.
  2. Employee Resource Groups Create a Sense of Belonging, Foster Engagement, SHRM
  3. How to Form a Mental Health Employee Resource Group, Harvard Business Review
  4. Guidance for Developing Effective Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), NASA
  5. Toolkit for Establishing Employee Resource Groups, Minnesota State
  6. 27 Employee Resource Groups Best Practices for 2023,
  7. What Black Employee Resource Groups Need Right Now, Harvard Business Review
  8. Can ERGs Improve Employee Engagement, DEI, and Employee Attrition?, SalesForce
  9. Celebrating Success: AT&T’s Latya Taylor and Dale Street Discuss the Longevity of NETwork and LEAGUE ERGs, Diversity, Inc.
  10. ERGs Come of Age: The Evolution of Employee Resource Groups, Mercer


  1. Why Employee Engagement? (These 28 Research Studies Prove the Benefits), Forbes
  2. How to Hang On to Your High Potentials, Harvard Business Review
  3. 15 Reasons Why People Quit Their Jobs (and What You Can Do About It), Inc.
  4. Why People Quit Their Jobs, Harvard Business Review
  5. Why people are quitting their jobs, Ernst & Young (EY)
  6. New Research Reveals the Real Reason People Switch Jobs, LinkedIn
  7. Why People Really Quit Their Jobs, Harvard Business Review
  8. Why Do Employees Leave their Jobs? New Survey Offers Answers, Forbes
  9. The 7 Reasons Why People Change Jobs, Recruiting Daily

Photography Source:  DepositPhotos
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